Highland Park Distillery is located in Kirkwall, one of twenty islands north of Scotland that are part of the Orkney Islands.
It is one of only a handful of distilleries that still retains a traditional malting floor, turning each batch of malt by hand, in what is a physically demanding process. To malt the barley, they steep it in the mineral rich water from the Crantit spring, before transferring it to the malting floor to slowly germinate. When it is ready, the barley is then placed in the kilns where the aromatic peating process begins.
One of the fundamental flavours in Highland Park single malt whisky is the delicate, sweet, aromatic peat smoke, which has given Highland Park its unique character since 1798. The Orkney Islands have an abundance of this sweet, heathery peat, which is around 4000 years old and is carefully selected from Hobbister Moor. The peat cut is a mixture of textures and aromas ranging from a more floral heather-rich top layer, to a darker, denser material, the mixture giving the resulting smoke a slow burning and complex aroma.
Orkney, the home of Highland Park, is unusually blessed with a wonderfully temperate climate, with neither extreme cold or hot temperatures, perfect for a long, cool maturation in traditional warehouses.
Traditional oak casks are used, all seasoned with dry Oloroso sherry, which contribute to the distinctive richness in the resulting whisky. Spanish oak casks seasoned with sherry give colour, spice and dried fruit character, whereas American oak sherry seasoned casks give lighter, sweeter vanilla and butterscotch flavours. Sherry oak casks are far more expensive but the view at Highland Park is that they are worth it for the rich character and natural colour they provide to the maturing spirit.
Each individual batch of Highland Park is drawn together from a variety of casks, contributing an array of distinct, unique flavours and additional harmonisation for up to six months perfectly marries them together. The impact this marriage has on the whisky is nothing short of stunning and ensures consistency, as well as adding complexity and exceptional balance on the palate.
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700 ml, 40.0% abv, Scotland (Island)The expression that started it all for Highland Park. First introduced in 1979, the 12 year old is at the very heart of their core range and demonstrates rich, well balanced malty tones, with the subtle floral smoke which makes Highland Park such a distinctive single malt whisky. Made from the best barley malted over peat fires, merged with the unique spring waters of the island, and aged in casks for a minimum of twelve years that shape its rare and very distinctive character.
1000 ml, 40.0% abv Scotland IslandHighland Park 'Svein' is the first of the Warriors Series. It is approximately 90% ex-American oak and 10% ex-European oak, and is named after Svein, one of the central characters mentioned in the legendary Nordic book Orkneyinga Saga. This book charts the journeys and innovations of the Nordic people and warriors in and around Orkney. "the nose is full of soft earthy smoke and vanilla and honey aromas. There are also hints of wood spice, cereals and orange oil" "a mix of woody, spicy notes along with honey, vanilla, burnt caramel and some dried fruits, particularly sultana and tangy candied orange. The soft earthy smokiness is again prominent"
- Litre Bottle.
1000 ml, 40.0% abv, Scotland (Island)A replacement for the now sold out 1998 Vintage, this 2001 Vintage was matured in a high proportion of first-fill American oak casks to bring up the smokier side of Highland Park along with some sweeter notes.
- Litre Bottle
1000 ml, 40.0% abv, Scotland (Island)Part of the Warriors Series, Einar was crafted as a tribute to one of the most feared and ruthless Vikings of his time. Einar was a hard and successful Viking, often venturing on treacherous long voyages. American & European oak casks. "a mix of aromatic wood spices, cinnamon, cedarwood and oak. Vanilla, malty cereals, golden syrup and a whiff of earthy smoke"
- Litre Bottle.